Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge

Tennessee

(731) 635-7621

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Established August 5, 1985, Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge lies in the Lower Mississippi River floodplain along the Chickasaw Bluff in western Tennessee. Eight miles of the western boundary abut the Mississippi River along the only stretch without a mainline levee in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. As a result, the refuge is subject to the natural process of backwater flooding by the river. Chickasaw NWR currently encompasses 23,809 acres and includes the largest block of bottomland hardwood forest in Tennessee. Prior to acquisition, the lands that now make up Chickasaw NWR were owned by the Anderson-Tully Company of Memphis, Tennessee. The company managed a total of 18,000 acres at this site for timber production. In 1956, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency leased this land and managed it as the Upper Anderson-Tully Wildlife Management Area. Chickasaw NWR and adjacent lands are known to be important wintering and stop-over areas for a large portion of the Mississippi Flyway mallard population. Under optimum conditions, peak waterfowl numbers may exceed 250,000 including black ducks, gadwall, pintail, teal, wigeon, wood duck, ring-necked duck, and hooded merganser. Wood ducks are year-round residents and depend on the habitat for nesting and brood rearing. The refuge also provides habitat for wild turkey, swamp rabbit, deer, fox and grey squirrel, and raccoon. Approximately 200 species of birds, including bald eagles, interior least terns, Mississippi kites, and Cerulean warblers frequent the refuge. Chickasaw NWR has 3 active bald eagle nests and hosts up to 20 eagles throughout the winter months, typically November thru February.

Map of Chickasaw NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 35.860953, -89.560375

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    Two boat ramps on the refuge provide access to the Mississippi River and Wardlow's Chute.

  • Bird Watching

    Approximately 200 species of birds, including mallards, bald eagles, interior least terns, Mississippi kites, and Cerulean warblers frequent the refuge. Chickasaw NWR has 3 active bald eagle nests and wood ducks are year-round residents and depend on the habitat for nesting and brood rearing.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    There are 20 miles of gravel/paved roads for refuge access.

  • Fishing

    Chickasaw NWR is open to sport fishing year round from sunrise to sunset. Crappie, bass, and catfish are common sports fish. Two boat ramps on the refuge provide access to the Mississippi River and Wardlow's Chute. Trails provide access to Dry Arm and Camp Slough for bank fishing or fishing from a small boat or canoe pulled on a cart. Bank fishing is also available on Wardlow's Pocket.

  • Hiking

    Logging trails are available for hiking and hunting access throughout the refuge.

  • Hunting

    The refuge is open to public hunting. Hunting seasons and bag limits generally follow state regulations but may differ slightly. A refuge public use brochure and free permit is required along with any necessary hunting licenses. Contact the refuge for current regulations and season dates. Spring turkey season is currently a quota hunt.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The refuge is open year round during daylight hours for wildlife observation and photography (except the waterfowl sanctuary is closed from November 15-March 15) . Several primitive hiking trails are located throughout the refuge and provide access to the unique bottomland habitats found on the area. Seasonal flooding may make these trails inaccessible; visitors should contact the refuge office for current conditions.

Seasonality/Weather

The 1,400-acre unit where the office is located is managed as a waterfowl and shorebird sanctuary. This unit is closed to all Public Access from November 15 to March 15 every year to minimize disturbance to wintering waterfowl and shorebirds in this heavily hunted area.

Directions

Driving

From Ripley and Highway 51, proceed approximately 6 miles north on Edith-Central Road (becomes Edith-Nankipoo after passing through 4-way stop at Edith). Turn left on Hobe Webb road and proceed approximately 1.5 miles to first road on the right. Turn right on Sand Bluff Road and proceed to the bottom of bluff. Refuge headquarters will be on the left.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(731) 635-7621

Links